The president of Uruguay has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. According to his advocates, José “Pepe” Mujica’s much talked-about marijuana legalization is in fact “a tool for peace and understanding.”
TUNIS — Tunisia’s Islamist-dominated constituent assembly compromised on Saturday in rejecting Islam as the main source of law as it voted on a new constitution for the country that spawned the Arab Spring.
ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday unanimously passed a resolution calling for a trial of former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution for derailing democracy and abrogating the constitution.
The resolution was tabled by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s Senator Ishaq Dar and was approved by all members of the Upper House of Parliament.
The resolution also demanded that all photographs, posters and banners of the former president be removed from all government buildings with immediate effect.
The Senators also called for the implementation on its earlier resolution of January 23, 2012.
Moreover, Federal Interior Minister Malik Muhammad Habib Khan informed the Senate that Musharraf was already in the government’s custody and that his Chak Shahzad residence had been declared a sub-jail.
ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the Upper House of the Parliament Thursday demanded action against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for his crimes against constitution, democracy, political leadership and the nation.
They also demanded from the caretaker interior minister to inform the House how he escaped from the court to his residence and “why a former General could not be arrested if the elected prime ministers of the country can be sent to jails.”
Speaking on points of order, the senators claimed that double standard existed in the country in violation of the Constitution which considers every Pakistani equal before the law.
“We have been talking of the rule of law and independence of judiciary. But, today we have seen that it is easy to send an elected prime minister to jail but a former General and military dictator cannot be arrested,” remarked senior PPPP Senator Raza Rabbani.
“In Pervez Musharraf’s case it is test of time. When the court had ordered to arrest him, then why he was not arrested. It’s a question mark,” Rabbani added.
He charged Pervez Musharraf of involvement in the abetment of killing of Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti, abrogating the constitution and house arresting the judges of superior judiciary.
“Musharraf is a usurper who twice abrogated the Constitution. He was announced to be arrested but he safely fled in connivance with state institutions. The caretaker government was responsible to arrest him and the interior minister should inform the House why the government had not fulfilled its obligations,” Rabbani said.
PPPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said he does not hold caretaker government responsible for his escape. “I have been looking the state apparatus very closely. There are two laws and double standards in the country. If we could not mend it over the time how we can hold the caretakers responsible for these double standards.”
.This act of the former military ruler “underscores his disregard for due legal process and indicates his assumption that as a former army chief and military dictator he can evade accountability for abuses”, Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
“It is essential that Pakistan’s military authorities which are protecting the former dictator comply with the Islamabad High Court’s orders and ensure that he presents himself for arrest,” the statement added.
It further said that “continued military protection for General Musharraf will make a mockery of claims that Pakistan’s armed forces support the rule of law and bring the military further disrepute that it can ill afford.”
ISLAMABAD: General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Thursday escaped from the premises of the Islamabad High Court after the cancellation of his bail application by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in the judges detention case.
Immediately after the bail cancellation, police tried to reach the former military ruler but he was escorted by his personal security, fleeing in his bullet-proof black four-wheeler.
“Islamabad High Court has cancelled Musharraf’s bail and ordered his arrest in the judges’ detention case today,” said Muhammad Amjad, secretary-general of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League party.
In a written judgement printed in English, the IHC ordered that: “He (Musharraf) be taken into custody and dealt with in accordance with law.”
The detailed verdict issued by the Islamabad High Court ordered for terrorism to be added to the list of charges against the former military ruler. The order further said that Musharraf’s exit from the court earlier during the day warranted for separate charges to be filed against him.
According to reports, Musharraf’s lawyers reached the Supreme Court to file a pre-arrest bail application in order avoid his surrender to the police.
However, the SC returned the 14-page bail application as the timings for the Registrar’s office had ended. Musharraf’s lawyers are now expected to resubmit the appeal on Friday.
After departing from the IHC’s premises, Musharraf had reached his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, a suburban area on the outskirts of Islamabad where security was beefed up and all entry and exit routes to the area were blocked.
More than half of those surveyed said democracy had not been good for them or the country
More Pakistani youth would prefer Islamic law or military rule than democracy, a survey suggests.
More than half of 5,000 18-29 year-old Pakistanis polled said democracy had not been good for them or the country.
Some 94% said Pakistan was going in the wrong direction, up from 50% in 2007, the British Council survey found.
Almost a third of registered voters in Pakistan are under 30 years old, and are expected to play a big part in a general election due in May.
When asked to pick the best political system, both Sharia and military rule were favoured over democracy.
The survey points towards a pessimistic generation, disenchanted with democracy after five years of civilian rule, says the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad.
Most of those surveyed had more faith in the army than any other institution.
Approval ratings for the military were about 70% compared with just 13% for the government.
Islamic law comes to rebel-held Syria
And that, decreed the officers of the newly established Sharia Authority set up to administer rebel-held Aleppo, constitutes a crime under Islamic law, punishable in this instance by 10 strokes of a metal pipe.
Building on the reputation they have earned in recent months as the rebellion’s most accomplished fighters, Islamist units are seeking to assert their authority over civilian life, imposing Islamic codes and punishments and administering day-to-day matters such as divorce, marriage and vehicle licensing.
Numerous Islamist groups are involved, representing a wide spectrum of views. But, increasingly, the dominant role is falling to Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States for suspected ties to al-Qaeda but is widely respected by many ordinary Syrians for its battlefield prowess and the assistance it has provided to needy civilians.
Across the northeastern provinces of Deir al-Zour and Raqqah, where the rebels have been making rapid advances in recent weeks, Jabhat al-Nusra has taken the lead both in the fighting and in setting out to replace toppled administrations. It has assumed control of bakeries and the distribution of flour and fuel, and in some instances it has sparked tensions with local fighters by trying to stop people from smoking in the streets.
Here in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo, more than half of which has been under rebel control since July, Jabhat al-Nusra is also widely identified as the leading force behind the Hayaa al-Sharia, which loosely translates as the Sharia Authority and is known simply as the Hayaa.
Based out of the city’s former Eye Hospital, which was damaged during the fighting and then occupied by Jabhat al-Nusra as its headquarters, the Hayaa is also backed by other rebel units, including the Tawhid Brigade, the city’s biggest fighting force, and the Ahrar al-Sham, a homegrown Islamist force that has played a relatively minor role in Aleppo but is powerful in several other provinces.
These days, the bomb-scarred former hospital has taken on the semblance of a wartime city hall, with people milling in and out seeking permits to carry a gun or transport fuel through checkpoints, complaining about neighbors, reporting thefts and informing on people suspected to be regime loyalists.
Sindh Assembly adopts bill to withdraw SPLGO 2012
KARACHI – SINDH: The Sindh Assembly has adopted a bill to withdraw the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 and reinstate the local government act of 1979, Geo News reported. The bill, pertaining to the withdrawal of SPLGO 2012 and restoration of the Local Government Act 1979, was presented by Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro amidst protest from Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) MPA’s. Later, the MQM members staged a walk out from the provincial assembly in protest against withdrawal of the local government ordinance 2012.
Misfortune of one yields fortune for another. The prevailing leadership of PPP has provided an opportunity to PML-F to launch itself in a manner that deprived & betrayed masses by PPP-P Government may find rescue & comfort in the folds of PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition government tabled SPLGO in Sindh Assembly & got it passed hurriedly. The very moment PML-F on Assembly ground & the Nationalists on the roads opposed it with tooth & nail. The arrogant PPP neither paid attention towards public resentment nor responded to any political party opposing this barbaric bill.
On the one hand they started joking on opponents then criticized severely & finally conducted public meeting (jalso) in Hyderabad on 10th October 2012 which proved a flop show. On the other hand Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) under the convener ship of Syed Jalal Shah along with Jatoi Bros & Shahryar Mahar gathered at Pir Sahib Pagaro to accelerate the struggle against controversial Dual Local Government System. Due to Government’s tough & unfavorable stand on this controversial black bill there was a growing frustration among masses of Sindh.
In the mean time Pir Sahib Paggaro appeared as the gigantic voice of Sindh & Sindhis which raised a new hope among downtrodden masses of Sindh. His patriotic stand, vision, attitude & dealing with recently erupted political affairs earned for him a “leadership” role. Thus genial Pir Sahib Pagaro got consensus to lead all parties who are struggling against dual bill in particular and are willing to form a grand alliance against PPP in Sindh in coming elections in general.
Hyderabad : Pakistan Muslim League Functional’s Chief Pir Pagara did the historical Jasla (Public Gathering) PML-F shows strength in Hyderabad; rejects [controversial, black and apartheid] SPLGA 2012 the new LG Law introduced by MQM and PPP in Sindh, in which the Slogan was ” Hik Sindh Hik Kanoon Hik Dharti Hik Pakistan ” ( One Sindh One Law One Land One Pakistan).
In the history of Sindh, Hyderabad never before 1.2 million people gathered from across the sindh to attend such public gathering and PML(F) Chief Pir Pagara addressed to all including Sindh Nationalist Parties, those who appose against the New Local Government, through out the event was captured by Sindhi media channels and all went peaceful, instead of the chairs, on 70 acres Carpets were laid to sit on the floor and the security duty was given to HUR’s as well as Police and Rangers. …
KARACHI: Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo has claimed that Sindh is changing and the effects of this change will be visible during the upcoming general election in the country. He feels the National Assembly should have at least 1,000 seats so that people from poor and middle class segments of society could also contest the elections.
He believes the PPP-led government may hand over charge to anyone to prolong its rule. He regrets that the government has not implemented even a single part of the Supreme Court verdict on the Karachi law and order situation.
KARACHI: Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khoro Thursday announced the approval of Sindh People’s Local Government Bill (SPLGB) 2012 amid opposition’s uproar in the assembly.
During the assembly session, the speaker announced that the Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad signed the draft of SPLGB 2012 turning it into an act.
Following the announcement, member of the opposition Nusrat Sehr Abbasi tore copies of the agenda which lead to a heated exchange of words with Sharjeel Memon.
Abbasi was also told to shut up by Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and by Murad Ali when she was interrupting his speech.
MPAs of the government also chanted slogans against the enemies of democracy.
Earlier, PML-F, PML-Q, ANP and NPP had staged walkout from the assembly session in a protest for failing to get opposition benches in the assembly.
The interview of Ayaz Latif Palejo available at ZEM-TV is quite interesting and worth listening in terms of content, articulation by Ayaz Latif Palejo, aggressiveness of interviewer and reaction of audience.
In my view, Ayaz Latif Palejo is one of the most able Sindhi leaders unmatched by any with an astute presence of mind and the ability to articulate very difficult points with ease and in an extremely audience-friendly manner. He explains very well the ill effects of discriminatory and black SPLGA, particularly SPLGA’s current aim at dividing Sindh and dividing Pakistan in the long term. Although, I do not agree with Ayaz’s assertion that SPLGA is part of grand scheme put-together by Western powers to create a separate country consisting of Karachi, Gawadar, and other areas of Baluchistan out of present-day Pakistan. How would Baloch nationalists and MQM-wallas are going to eat from the same plate is mind boggling! I believe there is not a single Baluch leader or common man who would opt for an arrangement that make Baluch to jump from Punjabi frying pan into the MQM fire. The cruelties the Baluch are suffering now would be a chicken feed when they have to deal with MQM having seen the brutality of MQM-wallas on Baloch-Sindhi areas of Karachi. However, his explanation that argues that SPLGA creates two different systems in Sindh just appease MQM is quite convincing. He makes an excellent case that the SPLGA is a discriminatory law comparable to South Africa’s apartheid regulations. He says how come Karachi mayor will have control over fisheries around Karachi’s shoreline but not the mayor of Thatto? He correctly argues that no mayor in the world has such insane powers and mind-boggling unaccountability as allowed in the SPLGA. Elected only by few Union Council members (in case of Karachi about 40-50), removing a mayor from office is more difficult than any other office including that of the President, Chief of Joint Staff, and Prime Minister of Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. On top of of this SPLGA imposes a draconian provision that in the event that an impeachment proceeding against a mayor fails, the union council member who introduces the impeachment motion will have to resign from his/her seat. There is no where in the world where such an undemocratic law exists. He also makes a clear case that PPP’s only manifesto is to prolong its rule. They would barter away any right of Sindhi people only if they can extend their rule for three more days – these three days would mean millions of more being transferred to Lisbon and other cities of Europe.
The interviewer of the discussion was extremely aggressive, often engaging in pressing Ayaz Latif Palijo and insisting on getting the answer he wanted from Ayaz Latif Palejo. I must compliment Ayaz Latif for not loosing his cool and while smiling and telling the interviewer again and again as to why he insists on receiving a reply that he likes. Nevertheless, in the end, one could see from the face of the interviewer that although he failed to ruffle Ayaz Latif Palejo, he had an expression on his face that showed that the interviewer felt that Ayaz’s arguments were rational and would resonate with all people except the die-hard MQM-wallas and their most ardent PPP supporters.
The reaction of audience when Ayaz made points was the most surprising aspect of this interview. I was pleasantly surprised to see majority of audience rooting for Ayaz Latif. They showed their support for annulment of SPLGA with each point Ayaz made. They laughed rousingly as Ayaz would joke about the foolishness of the arguments of the proponents of SPLGA.
Indeed, I would recommend that it would be worthwhile to invest 30 minutes of your valuable time to listen to crisp and crystal clear explanation of the arguments that SPLGA is indeed a black and apartheid law, only worthy of dust bin to which it rightfully belongs. Indeed, only the narrow-minded and shallow minds can conceive such a badly written law that violates many democratic norms, without any adequate checks and balances, and discrimination unseen thus far in Pakistan.
About the writer – Mr. Khalid Hashmani is a Washington DC-based veteran human rights activist. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of the people of Sindh.
Sindhi writers lend voice to opposition’s movement
HYDERABAD: Over a hundred Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals who attended the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Congress have criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for enacting the new local government law that was detrimental to the unity of the province. The gathering on Sunday, arranged by the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, dealt another blow to the PPP, whose leaders have claimed in the past that opponents of the new law are “illiterate nationalists”.
PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah was the only political leader who was invited to the event, and he did not disappoint the participants by going all-out against the policy of his own party. Shah termed the new local government system “a big injustice to Sindh” and said that it would “serve the interests of a minority [population]”. Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said that the new law was passed contrary to the wishes of the people of Sindh.
Sindh Democratic Forum’s Zulfiqar Halepoto presented a list of “anti-Sindh” pieces of legislation that were adopted by the present government. They included the Zulfiqarabad Development Authrotiy Act, Thar Coal and Energy Board Act 2011, Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012.
He added that the Sindh Assembly had passed a law in 2005 which asked the provincial government to ensure that multinational companies and other private enterprises in Karachi recruit people that have local domicile. “It meant that residents of 22 districts of Sindh were not allowed to come for jobs to Karachi, which is the only commercial and industrial city in the province.
Jami Chandio, a researcher, stressed upon his fellow intellectuals to continue to acquire knowledge and to impart that to the people. “We need to make people understand these things, so that they can choose their leadership while keeping in mind the threats and opportunities that we face.”
Sindhi Adabi Sangat and Sindh Writers and Thinkers Forum jointly organized a human chain from Karachi Press Club to Sindh Assembly Building on Sunday to protest against passage of Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012. A large number of writers, poets, journalists, civil society activists and politicians took part in making the human chain. Amid tight security by police around the Sindh Assembly building the participants also comprised of women and children who were restricted at the Arts Council round-about, where they gathered and the leaders addressed to the participants. The police had closed down the gates along the road leading towards Sindh Secretariat and Sindh Assembly. Dr. Mushtaq Phul, General Secretary of Sindhi Adabi Sangat, noted writers and authors Agha Saleem, Irshad Memon, Noor Ahmed Memon, Inam Shaikh, Ishtiaq Ansari, Gul Hassan Kalmati, Qabool Abro, Manzoor Solangi, Murtaza Sial, veteran Sindhi poets Akash Ansari, Hidayat Baloch, authors journalist Dastagir Bhatti and G. N. Mughal, Hamsafar Gadahi politicians Ismail Rahu, Ali Hassan Chandio, Shafi Mohammad Jamote, civil society activists Prof. Mushtaq Mirani, Muzaffar Chandio and Zulfiqar Halepoto were the prominent among the participants of the human chain.
Former PPP Law Minister Iqbal Haider passes away
Former Law Minister, and co-chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider passed away on Sunday in a local hospital here in Karachi. He was suffering from lungs ailment.
His funeral prayer will be offered after Zuhar prayer on Monday at Imambargah Yasrub in phase IV Defence Housing Society, Karachi.
I have read the article of adi Sarah Zaman a couple of times but I still do not see any argument against the legal challenge except that the Supreme Court may give a decision of rejecting the argument of Barrister Ghumro and that it will weaken the case of Sindh against SPLGA. The argument made is also that this legal challenge will weaken Nawaz Sharif and strengthen MQM. My view is that if we Sindhis are afraid of even challenging a violation of our rights in Pakistan’s supreme court, how are we going to file the case of Sindhi rights at the International Court and the UN? Do we expect Nawaz Sharif to guarantee Sindh rights?
Whether or not Nawaz Sharif wins the next election should not digress us from taking the actions that we believe are in the larger interest of Sindh. At best, Nawaz Sharif can guarantee us the same deal that he gave us when he won the election last time and became Prime Minister and imposed his Chief Minister on Sindh just as the PPP did it. It would be a grave mistake if Sindhis assumed that any political leader would help resolve this issue for them. The civil society has to take it upon itself to beat the crisis. It does not matter who the winner of election is. Sindhis will keep losing until they are able to get up on their own to safeguard their interests. We simply cannot afford any more to depend that a political party that is popular in Punjab to protect Sindh rights.
In objecting to the Barrister Ghumro’s legal petition, adi Sarah Zaman raises the following seven (7) questions: 1. Was the decision to file a petition by Barrister Ghumro approved by the Sindh Bachayo Committee? 2. Is the legal petition in the interest of Sindhis? 3. Does the Sindh Bachayo Committee agree with the main argument of the Barrister Ghumro’s petition? 4. Is this not an action to protect MQM and hurt Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League? 5. Is the present government in Islamabad doing what one would say the “back foot playing” game to push back Nawaz Sharif? 6. Can Sindh afford to bear the loss if the Supreme Court gives the decision that is not acceptable by Sindhis? 7. Were the intellectuals, writers, and poets consulted on the filing of the legal petition and were they in agreement?
Other than pointing out another legal point, adi Zaman has neither analyzed nor provided any answers to the questions raised by her. On the legal point, if I am reading correctly, she says “Since the (SPLGA) Ordinance was sent on October 11th in the form of a ‘Bill’ to the Governor of Sindh for his approval. That bill, according to newspaper reports was signed by the Governor and sent to Ministry of law on 18th October. For this reason the petition can be nullified. The attorney of Barrister sahib should have waited when the representative of Sindh would have come on November 8th”. Frankly I cannot make head and tail of this argument and would appreciate anyone to clarify as to what adi Zaman means by this argument?
I am in 100% agreement adi Zaman’s advice to Sindh intellectuals and leaders that it is their duty to awaken the people and not to mislead Sindhis in taking the steps that would lead them to further misery.
She also says that Barrister Ghumro has taken 180 degrees turn from what he said before on the issue of SPLGA and his action of filing petition. I have tried to researched this alleged “turn about” by Barrister Ghumro but cannot find any evidence. Once again, I would appreciate anyone to clarify as to what adi Zaman means by this allegation?
Another point that adi Zama makes is that Sindhis in London decided to focus on awakening people in Sindh instead of demonstrating in front of 10 Downing Street and shouting “Balle Balle..” or going to international forums and courts. First of all, Sindhis never shout “Balle, Balle…”, second, to the best of my recollection WSC held an impressive demonstration against SPLGA in London and many SANA GTA Chapter members gathered to tell Canadian authorities about how SPLGA violated human rights of Sindhis.
I am very much concerned about the campaign against one of the most active champion of Sindh Rights Barrister Ghumro. He has fought for Sindhi Rights in many innovative ways and has been source of most intelligent and thoroughly researched legal advice to Sindhis. I would trust him any day more than any urban or rural wadero or any political party in Pakistan. I abhor any attempts to create rift among Sindh’s intellectuals, poets, and writers. I believe that we should talk to every one and any one but please do not insist that Sindhis refrain from adapting an independent line of action and get on the bandwagon of Nawaz Sharif, Pir Pagaro, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan, or Asif Zardari. This would hurt Sindhis both in the long term and short term.
Our intellectuals, poets, and writers had been in slumber for quite sometime and now that they are wakening and activating themselves, it will be a unforgivable crime to create a rift among them so that one or other political party wins the next elections in Pakistan. In the long run, only Sindh’s intellectuals, poets, writers, and other civil society will keep the candle of Sindhiat alive and help Sindhis to defeat SPLGA just like they defeated “one unit”.
ISLAMABAD: A petition challenging the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, DawnNews reported.
The apex court admitted the petition, filed by Barrister Zameer Ghumro, for hearing on Nov 8.
Ghumro stated in the petition that the Sindh Assembly had violated the Constitution by passing the local government bill.
He also stated in the petition that the Sindh government had transferred executive powers to metropolitan corporations without having the power to do so.
The apex court admitted the petition for hearing and issued notices to Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Advocate-General Sindh Abdul Fateh Malik, for the hearing on Nov 8.
Previously, the passing of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 had received relentless resistance from the main opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly, as well the nationalist parties in Sindh.
By: Sohail Sangi
The situation in Sindh is grim after the recent passage of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 by the provincial assembly. Differences over the law have pitted the ruling Pakistan People’s Party against nationalist parties and other opponents of the law in the province.
Both supporters and detractors of the new law have tried to demonstrate their political strength by staging public meetings. The PPP – considered the most popular party in Sindh – held a rally in Hyderabad on Oct 15 while the Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), a grouping of forces opposed to the local government law, and its component parties also staged similar shows.
The law, which envisages six powerful metropolitan corporations, has been reportedly passed to appease the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. It is believed that the MQM, an important ally of the PPP, wanted more powers in Karachi and Hyderabad. However, it has been opposed by many Sindhi leaders who term it a ‘dual system’ which may deepen the ethnic divide in Sindh. They have apprehensions that mayors of the two cities will be given the same powers as enjoyed by a chief minister.
Protests started on Oct 1 when the controversial bill was adopted by the Sindh Assembly without considering the objections raised by the PPP’s estranged allies in the house. The protests turned violent when gunmen opened fire on a PPP rally in Khairpur killing several people and improvised explosive devices were left outside the houses of PPP’s ministers and MPAs.
Some observers say People’s Party’s mandate in Sindh has suffered a setback.
In order to counter growing opposition to the new law, the PPP showed its political strength by holding the public meeting in Hyderabad on Oct 15. Some political pundits, however, termed holding the rally another PPP blunder after the passage of the local government law, claiming that the party’s stance on the new law was against popular opinion. The law has been opposed not only by the nationalists but also by writers, intellectuals and common people.
Jalal Mehmood Shah, head of the Sindh United Party and convener of the SBC, says people have rejected the local government law and rulers should respect public opinion and withdraw it. Awami Tehrik’s Ayaz Latif Palejo believes the law insults the sentiments of people. Riaz Chandio of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz also opposes the new law.
Although a PPP core committee’s meeting presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari decided to hold talks with the estranged allies and nationalists. However, so far neither has the PPP approached the protesting parties nor has a conducive environment been created for talks.
Nationalists are not ready to hold any talks till the law is withdrawn. The situation is worsening because provocative statements are being issued from both sides.
Saner elements are trying to find a middle path. They say the MQM can help the PPP get out of hot water by accommodating Sindhi people’s viewpoint on the new law.
Barrister Zameer Ghumro, an SBC member, suggests that by altering three sections and one schedule this ‘divide’ can be bridged, provided the MQM gives up its ‘obstinacy’.
Uncertainty in Sindh continues as a popular party and the popular discourse are in conflict with each other. How can this clash between the two be averted?
Jami Chandio, a writer, says an alternative political party is an ideal solution but he thinks that in the present case such an idea cannot be implemented. A broad-based forum modelled along the lines of the Palestine Liberation Organisation or African National Congress can fill the gap for a transition period, but this seems too idealistic, as for one the nationalists themselves have failed to resolve differences among themselves. However, the Anti-One Unit Movement, when people had created an alternative leadership, may serve as a model that can be emulated to deal with the prevailing crisis.
Although I believe that the manifesto of PTI and certain statements of Imran Khan that he has made in the past have elements that hurt Sindh & Sindhi interests, the courageous step by SANA GTA chapter deserves thanks and praises. The PPP is taking Sindhi support as granted and is bartering away Sindhi interests for their short-term gain to remain in power at all costs. This initiative of SANA GTA chapter reflects the sentiment that Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive those who betray our trust.
In the whole scheme of things and as policies of PTI (as expressed in it’s manifesto and the statements of PTI leaders) that favor the building large dams, having one national language, and more centralization at the cost of provinces, Imran Khan’s party is not a natural partner of Sindhis. Nevertheless, meeting of Toronto Sindhis with Imran Khan yells PPP that since they have put Sindh & Sindhi Rights on an auction block, Sindhis will work with traditional adversaries to block PPP from further sell-out of Sindh Rights.
Thank you Abdul-Razzaq Khushk, Jam Muneer, Rajesh Rathi, Vishnu Lohano, Aijaz Kolachi, Naeem Khatree & other friends for their bold step.
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SINDHI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (Toronto Chapter)
Memorandum: October 25, 2012
To: Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf.
Regarding: SINDH NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SPLGA2012.
We, Sindhi speaking immigrants from Pakistan living in North America feel that PPP has violated the mandate of the people of Sindh by Passing this divisive and very controversial, black Law called “SPLGA 2012.
We want to bring following facts in your kind consideration & perusal.
· Under Article 137 of the Constitution, Sindh Assembly has no power to transfer the executive authority of the Provincial Government to any other authority, but PPP did not care and still passed this act.
· Since there is triangle of the powers under the constitution, one organ of the state, particularly a legislative organ cannot snatch executive authority from the provincial government.
· Under Section 14(5) Mayer has been empowered to establish any office or activity which power even the Federal Government does not possess.
· Under Schedule 1, the Metropolitan Corporations will have 43 departments with their own administration that is equal to all departments of Sindh government, hence state with in state has been created.
· Mayer had been made supreme as under Section 23, Mayor could only be removed by two third majority when the Chief Minister & Prime minister can be removed by simple majority of the house.
· Section 109 pertains to preventive detention, 133 and 143 to public nuisances, section 144 to ban any sort of activity including freedom of movement given in this act, Mayer will silence freedom of expression & assembly , which is against the spirit of democracy & will be the cause of silencing the voice of opponents.
· Under section 145, Mayor has been empowered to attach a property of any citizen in case of dispute over title of the property, which will legitimize bulldozing all of properties & seizing them for the city, hence making the way for one party rule in karachi.
· Metropolitan corporations will have their own taxes, plus property tax as well as right over the finances of the Provincial Government but they will not be answerable to provincial government.
· The administration headed by Mayor will be all resourceful and powerful whereas the administration working under Chief Minister will be nominal, weak and toothless having no authority whatsoever.
· Section 8 of the SPLG Act, 2012, creates a single Metropolitan Corporation by abolishing five districts.
· District Council, Karachi which comprised of 70% of the rural areas of Karachi has been done away with, thus dealing a severe blow to Sindhi and Balochi,Pashtun,panjabi,Katchi population of Karachi.
· Mayer will be elected indirectly on the basis of fraudulent electoral system and will belong to a particular ethnic community not forming majority of the population in Karachi.
· Under Section 9, eighteen towns have been created without respecting the boundaries of the revenue districts as for the rest of sindh & a dual system has been created to benefit MQM.
· The town boundaries, at present, run across district boundaries only in Karachi to favor MQM, whereas in other districts of Sindh, town or Talukas are the part and parcel of the same district.
· Thus a dual system has been enforced which gives complete control to one ethnic community in Karachi at the cost of others. In Karachi, 18 towns have been created in such a way as to make minority population as a majority to benefit MQM.
· This is also a violation of Supreme Court of Pakistan orders which has already held that constituencies in Karachi may be demarcated afresh giving representation to all communities living there.
· In the name of decentralization, Karachi has been completely centralized eliminating the representation of indigenous and other communities by handing over them to the terrorist Party of the city.
All conscious & patriot people & civil society along with all nationalist parties of Sindh are on the roads and struggling against this treacherous act of PPP through which they have handed over absolute powers to MQM and has thus laid the foundations of “State with in state” and muted the voice of all other nationalities.
We urge you to raise your voice against this black law at all forums & Media and support people of Sindh against this betrayal, tyranny & arrogance of PPP in Sindh.
Abdul Razzak Khushk
By Mohammad Khan Sial
KARACHI: The people of Sindh were shocked by President Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks while speaking at the fifth South Asian Free Media Association conference in which he complained that nationalists were not ready to talk to the government over the new local government law in Sindh as they were getting money from Punjab for behaving in such a manner. The president also claimed that the controversial Zulfikarabad project is in favour of Sindh and that the nationalists are opposed to the province’s development.
Firstly, I would like to point out that the government has always claimed that the nationalists have no backing in Sindh as they have never been able to win even a single seat in elections. I am unable to understand if that is the case then why is President Zardari so worried about their protests? His claim that Punjab is financing this protest movement in Sindh is unacceptable. The PML-F’s Pir Pagaro is also a staunch opponent of the new law so much so that according to press reports, he did not accept the president’s request to meet him. Can the president please clarify whether Pir Pagara is also receiving funding from Punjab in exchange for opposing the law? I would like to inform the president that the people of Sindh as a whole oppose this system. The government cannot be successful in portraying that only nationalists are opposed to it.
Regarding Zulfikarabad, the president’s claim that “opponents of the project are opponents of development of Sindh” is unacceptable for the simple reason that this project is bound to bring demographic changes in Sindh, increasing fears among Sindhis that after its completion, they would be reduced to a minority in their own province. If the president was really keen on alleviating the plight of Sindh, he would have diverted the funds allocated to Zulfikarabad to the less-developed areas of the province.
LONDON: The 24th International Conference on Sindh organised by World Sindhi Congress has called on the PPP government to revoke the controversial Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) as it’s a conspiracy against Sindh. The conference warned that actions of the PPP government had harmed Sindhis and had given too much influence to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The speakers said MQM is the sole beneficiary of this ordinance and allows the party to “rule Karachi and Hyderabad without any challenges”. The conference was attended by a large number of delegates from Sindh, UK, US, India and Europe. A keynote speech by Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal was the special feature of the moot.
The speakers advised all Sindhi nationalist parties to make Karachi centre of their political activities and believe in mass mobilisation of people. Sardar Akhtar Mengal said Sindhis gave huge mandate to PPP but in return it betrayed them and the recent local bodies act is the latest example. He said Sindhis should think beyond PPP.
Dr Lakhu Luhano said it was unprecedented time for Sindhi people in terms of danger and threat that never has existed to this level in the entire history of Sindh. Syed Jalal Shah said ground realities are very tough for Sindhis and called for a “fight back to repeal the act and take this struggle to wider demands of Sindhis”.
Hidayat Bhutto said Sindhis joined Pakistan based on the 1940 Resolution which clearly said, “Federating units shall be sovereign and independent” but that has not happened. “Since 1947, Sindh’s rights are being violated, its water is being diverted, its natural resources are used without any compensation and now its integrity is at stake,” he said.
Toronto: Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) members gathered in Toronto, Canada to stage a protest against the evil designs of PPP in the shape of SPLGA. SANA Toronto completely rejected the act and termed it an administrative division of the motherland Sindh.
In addition, the GTA chapter has conducted a meeting to analyze SPLGA, its impact on Sindh, the strategy and an action plan to ensure that Sindhis do not fall into a trap of another Bhotaar Party that after winning the seats would become the new home of the same old Bhotars.
The event was simple, focused and very educational: All participants took part in discussion and also were kept abreast of SANA initiatives on the ground in Sindh these days.
Many suggestions were put forth as to how pressure on PPPP-MQM coalition can be maintained. Some very practical ideas were fielded. One suggestion was ..a blitz of emails, snail mail and phone calls will be made to Sindh to PPPP MPAs to resign or withdraw support to SPLGA.
Press Release – We the writers, poets, intellectuals, artists, and civil society members of Sindh strongly condemn the government of Sindh for unlawfully passing SPLGO-2012 in the Sindh Assembly. This act (illegal) exposes PPP of betraying Sindh and Sindhi people. This act has virtually created state within state in Sindh and has encroached upon the sovereignty of Sindh over its big cities.
This act has seeded permanent division and conflicts among different people living in Sindh. The PPP government did not realize that through this act, Sindh
has been plunged into chaos, unrest and conflicts, making the lives of people of Sindh unbearable. The PPP government in the name of reconciliation
has destroyed the governance, social and economic fabric of Sindh. No peace will return to cities in the presence of the act. This act has given limitless power to mayors and has created big cities as fiefdoms for them.
The PPP government was given mandate to curb terrorism, introduce good governance, promote economic development and protect the rights of Sindh and Sindhi people. But it has sold the people of Sindh and created the division of Sindh. The new political developments indicate that the PPP government is creating conditions, which may destroy peace in Sindh. The responsibility squarely rest on the PPP government.
Sindhi writers and intellectuals have gathered here to take firm stand against the act and pledge to fight against it like they fought against One-Unit.
They will not only struggle against this act in Sindh and Pakistan but all over the world. They will raise voice against the black act in international forums including-the UN. We feel that this black act will not only lead to the division of Sindh. But specially so called metropolitan corporations in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas will facilitate illegal migration from India, converting Sindhis in a minority in their own land, which we will never allow and will prefer to die.
This black act will support terrorism, target killing, ethnic cleansing of Sindhis in Karachi, Hyderabad and MirpurKhas. It will promote all types of organized crimes in these cities.
We appeal to the people of Sindh to be united against this black act. We demand from the PPP government to withdraw the black act and leave to next government to introduce local government bill observing all democratic norms including consultation with the all stakeholders. We do not have trust on the PPP government and it has already betrayed the people of Sindh on all fronts.
We notice that recent events may cause highly tense among Sindhis and the PPP government will be squarely responsible for it. Once again we demand to avert the situation if she calls herself democratic by withdrawing this act immediately, call all stakeholders to concern and introduce new bill acceptable to all.
By: Dr. Azhar A. Shah
PPP’s Oct 15, 2012 Hyderabad Public Gathering was yet another big disappointment indeed. None of the speakers’ could dare to justify the controversial & infamous SPLG Act 2012 and to refute the criticism logically. All they did was unethical character assassination of the nationalist leaders! They conveyed the message that PPP is not in a position to have dialogue on the SPLGA but it is ready for len den (political bribe)!
The feudal lords of PPP gathered their peasants and workers only to tell them that they had nothing to say about SPLGA 2012. Even the minister for Local Government and the Sindh Chief Minister didn’t bother to justify how SPLGA and its various provisions would be beneficial for the people of Sindh and how the criticism of nationalist leaders was invalid! They couldn’t cite any working examples of the newly passed controversial law anywhere in the world.
Having listened to all the speeches of PPP leaders one could easily conclude that they are no more eligible to be called people’s representatives. One of the PPP leader publicly says that he has firm belief that ‘aik zardari sab pe bhari‘ (one zardari more than all). When this is the norm that one person is more than all then what do we expect about democracy! He indeed publicly confessed that it is Mr. Zardari who engages in all this game and he and other members of PPP have no role what so ever!
The take home message of PPPs public gathering for the people of Sindh was to go and get ready for revolution; we have nothing to offer you; elect your proper alternatives who could Save Sindh. That’s a good message indeed!
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 16 Oct. 2012
By: Khalid Hashmani
I salute Dr. Dur Mohammad Pathan for returning Tamgha-e-Imtiaz award to express the hurt and disappointment of people of Sindh with the SPLGO 2012. His statement that both PPP and MQM have badly harmed the integrity and solidarity of Sindh is reflective of the feelings of almost all North American Sindhis. Dr. Pathan called SPLGO a “black law” and expressed his dismay at the unprecedented speed of “few minutes” in which this law was passed in Sindh Assembly.
He has called for a round table conference of the leaders of the factions that oppose SPLGO and those who oppose it do a cool assessment of what is at the stake and what the majority of people who live in Sindh really want. He said that he had accepted the award because it recognized his contributions through poetry and literature but now that this government turned out to be “undemocratic”, he finds no joy in keeping this award.
We all know that today many in Sindh feel that they have been conned into putting their complete trust in PPP and for that mistake they will always regret!
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Famous Sindhi Poet Late Mohammad Khan Majeedi’s daughter Marium Majeedi denies to accept Presidential Award from President Zardari due to controversial, Black & apartheid SPLG ordinance 2012, which is going to divide the Integrity of historical land of Sindh in future. The way the notorious SPLG 2012 ordinance was passed in a fraud manner through Sindh Assembly put a big question mark on PPP & MQM credibility as true representatives of the people of Sindh.
More details in Sindhi » Sindh Affairs
LG ordinance backlash: Sindhi poet to return his Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in protest
By Sarfaraz Memon
SUKKUR: Poet, writer and research scholar Dr Dur Mohammad Pathan, expressing his disappointment over the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) performance, announced on Sunday that he will return his Presidential Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.
Talking to the media, he blamed the PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for ‘trying to harm the integrity and solidarity of Sindh’, which he said could not be tolerated. He was referring to the controversial local government ordinance. Pathan added that despite opposition from all over Sindh, PPP not only encouraged the Sindh governor to promulgate the ‘black ordinance’, but passed it in a record half hour.
Sindh has been subject to continuous onslaught against its sovereignty and unity particularly during last sixty five years of Pakistani Federation. The recent attack on its sovereignty has been hurled by no other than Pakistan People’s Party who claims to have the mandate of the people of Sindh. This attack on the unity and sovereignty of Sindh in the shape of so called Sindh Peoples Local Government Act, 2012 reminds us the era of July, 1948 when Karachi was snatched from Sindh and placed under the suzerainty of centre. Sindh Assembly had to take refuge in Hyderabad. At present, Sindh Assembly’s very existence at Karachi will also be devoid of any utility as it has transferred the executive authority of Provincial Government to Metropolitan Corporation, Karachi making itself and the Sindh Government a puppet in the hands of Karachi Mayor.
Unfortunately, Sindh Government is undeterred by its capitulation and surrender. Its Ministers, advisors and PPP office bearers have been making baseless allegations against the leaders of National and progressive Parties of Sindh who have been spearheading a heroic struggle against this black law. Ignorant of the very letter and spirit of SPLG Act, 2012, the Government is defending the defenseless. We would like to present the case of Sindh against this law by pointing out various provisions of this black law. For the sake of convenience and understanding, we have divided the Act of 2012 into three parts: First relates to the constitution of Councils, Second enumerates the powers of the Metropolitan Corporations and third is about the financial powers conferred on the councils and resources made available to them.
As per decisions of ec meeting of SANA Toronto chapter held on October 10, 2012 regarding the issue of controversial, apartheid and discriminatory SPLG law, it was decided to arrange a community gathering in a one week time to protest against this black Law and formulate a joint strategy .
Ec believes that every step forward should be with the consent of all membership of SANA along with community and ec is working towards finalizing the details of this protest meeting before inviting the community for participation in the event.
Ec hopes that all of us men & women along with our family will join this protest meeting to show our resolve to oppose all such black laws like SPLGO/SPLGB and defend our motherland Sindh with all peaceful means.
Washington-USA, Toronto-Canada, Brussels-Belgium, London-U.K., Middle East+ Sharjah+ Abu Dhabi, UAE, *Sindh*-Pakistan.
13th October 2012 – We, the undersigned Sindh Diaspora Organizations, Sindh Civil Society Organizations and Sindh Nationalist Parties unequivocally and resoundingly reject the controversial and apartheid Bill passed by the Sindh Assembly, to give a legal facade to the SPLG ordinance 2012.
It may be remembered that this same forum had twice rejected this and a previous ordinance emanating from the Governor House, which had the same purpose: Administrative, Fiscal and eventual Political Division of Sindh.
This forum view these repeated onslaughts on the fundamental rights of the nation of Sindh on their own land as an act of aggression against humanity.
The Sindhi Nation is not only cognizant of the contents and intentions of this so called “Bill”, but has resolved to struggle for its reversal.
The obscure and back room circumstances and haste surrounding the promulgation of first, the SPLGO and second its passage into “law” by the Sindh Assembly on 1st October 2012, further and finally confirmed to the Sindhi Nation that the intentions of the current coalition partners in the ruling Sindh Government, the PPPP and MQM, are malafide. This coalition stands rejected by the nation of nation, and has lost their confidence.
The SPLGO has been designed to further dis-empower and disenfranchise the nation of Sindh in their own historic homeland.
It is aimed to divide Sindh administratively with a view to its eventual political division in the future.
Further, the SPLGO privileges urban areas dominated and controlled by the MQM and expands their writ into adjoining areas where their vote base is non existent. The SPLGO has given the MQM a license to eradicate or render marginal, the vast Sindhi speaking population that lives in Sindh’s urban areas particularly in and around Karachi and its historical districts and coastal areas. The cooperation and compliance of PPPP leaders in delivering to the demands of the MQM, shows that the PPPP is not in a position to safeguard the interests of Sindh.
Sindh’s entire civil society, Nationalist Political Parties and Sindhi Diaspora Organizations stand united in their opposition to the apartheid SPLG Bill. The SPLG Bill stands rejected.
Sindhi Association of North America, SANA, World Sindhi Institute, WSI, Canada, USA+Europe, World Sindhi Congress, WSC, USA+Eurooe, Sindhi Sangat Middle East, Dubai+Sharjah+Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sindh Bachayo Commitee, Awami Tehreek, Sindh, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Jamhoori Party, Sindh National Movement, Sindh Univerity Teachers Association, Centre for Peace and Civil Society, Women’s Action Forum, Sindh.